Pearl Charles

Pearl Charles lives in the moment, seeking excitement whether it leads her down a dark, dusty road or into the arms of a trouble-making lover. Her full-length debut album, Sleepless Dreamer, describes late night revelry, love affairs, running away and running towards, serenading the sunrise through whirlwind stories of her native Los Angeles, the city, the canyon, the desert, and the road. On a quest to discover the truest version of herself, Charles embraces the feeling of not being settled, a person who always restlessly wants more from life and is willing chase it, wherever it may lead her.

Sleepless Dreamer finds her soulful, often sultry voice gliding through songs tinged with cosmic Americana, a little disco, some classic rock & roll, and a whole lot of that smooth AM gold. Passion, psychedelics and heartbreak inform the highs and lows she rides through the album. Finally able to see clearly through the smoke and mirrors of her surroundings, Charles departs on a consequent journey of questioning and soul-searching, eventually hitting the road in the inevitable search for answers.

As heard in the title track, themes of disillusionment and subsequent realization run through to the album. Examined through the lens of relationships, whether it be the one between her and a lover, a friend, a city, the road, the world, or perhaps most importantly, herself, each experiences helps to shape her developing perspective and worldview.

On “All The Boys,” she contemplates the cyclical nature of toxic attraction. Funky stand-out “Night Tides” looks at the illusion a person presents in the beginning of a romance, only to reveal their true colors once they’ve lured you in. She recognizes the pattern of being drawn to a tempting yet toxic muse over and over, but admits it fuels her creatively.

While many of the songs revolve around romance, they are juxtaposed with more existential/philosophical tracks like “Ghost” and “Only In America”, examining the meaning of life and what plagues her generation of disaffected youth.

Arriving January 2018 on Kanine Records, Sleepless Dreamer was produced and engineered by Kenny Woods (formerly of Beck) at the Haas Brothers studio in West Adams, CA. After working together on some covers for Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Sessions series last summer, Charles knew Woods was the right person to collaborate with on her full-length album.

Enlisting an all-star band of friends, the album features the work of Father John Misty’s Chris Dixie Darley (guitar), Dan Bailey (drums), Eli Thompson (bass), and David Vandervelde (guitar), Darian Zahedi (guitar) of CRX, Connor “Catfish” Gallaher (pedal steel) of Calexico, Drew Erickson (keys) of Roger Waters, and Maxim Ludwig (guitar). Additional writing collaborators include Stephen McBean (Black Mountain), Jonathan Rice, Jonathan Tyler (Nikki Lane), Carrick Moore-Gerety, and Brian Harding.

Charles has been playing music since she was five years old. At 18, she formed country duo The Driftwood Singers with Christian Lee Hutson, singing and playing guitar and autoharp. At 22, she joined garage rock band The Blank Tapes as drummer. After two fun-filled years immersed in the rock and roll lifestyle, she decided it was time to pursue her own songwriting, and began developing the songs that formed 2015’s eponymous debut EP on Burger Records. Her music career has been a chronological progression from old time music to 60’s garage and psychedelia, and now more 70’s country rock and 80’s smooth rock. Drawn to catchy, poppy hooks and choruses, Charles draws on what she loves about each era while developing her unique style as a musician, singer, and songwriter.

Fascinator

A night in room 14D at New York’s Carlton Arms Hotel is like being submerged in an oceanic abyss. A jellyfish-like chandelier dangles from the ceiling, while a 24-hour ambient soundtrack sucks you in even deeper. It’s a representation of Johnny Mackay aka Fascinator’s subconscious mind – and you can sleep in it for around $100 a night.

Mackay – a former short-term resident at the Carlton Arms – was given free reign to design a room by the hotel’s art-obsessed owners. So he did what any self-respecting New York creative would: he turned to his therapist.

“I wanted to try and find the place where ideas come from. So in a semi-hypnotic state we'd dive in and I’d always end up in the ocean, in a place between two lands.”

Between two lands is kinda the perfect description of where Mackay has been situated for the past few years, both in a subconscious and physical sense. After the dissolution of his ARIA chart-topping rock band Children Collide, the singer moved to New York from Melbourne in 2012 in a self-described moment of masochism. But he soon found himself partnerless, cashless, and bouncing from couch to couch. And that’s when Water Sign – Fascinator’s triumphant album – began taking shape.

“I was basically homeless for six months, sleeping on floors and couches around New York. That's where I started writing the record, in this really shit rehearsal studio I'd rented to store my stuff in. I was surrounded by boxes of displaced belongings and depressed as fuck.”

Over the next four years, Mackay would chip away at the record in planes, trains, automobiles and, er, a barn in Nantucket for a song writing workshop. It was there that the genre-hopping sitar jam ‘Midnight Rainbow’ began taking shape. “I wanted to write a late night meditation that could work as a soundtrack for getting stoned and cooking,” he says.

He wrote the vocals for the album’s baggy lead single ‘Sex Crystals’ in his sister’s kitchen in Brisbane, before finishing it off with Andy Szeceres (Midnight Juggernauts) in a studio in West Melbourne. Directed by Mackay himself, its Garden of Earthly Delights-influenced clip is another deep dive into his subconscious mind: a place where dancing vegetables and cult acolytes happily coexist.

“It turned out looking like some kind of weird alternative creation story,” Mackay says, laughing. “I get resurrected with a séance and that looks like Bosch having a last supper in heaven.”

Mackay describes Water Sign as a collection of situational soundtracks, influenced by wherever in the world he was at the time. The album was also informed by the hundreds of records he was being exposed to as an in-demand New York DJ, playing everywhere from rooftops, to fancy hotels and on boats floating past the Statue of Liberty.

There are baroque-pop flourishes on ‘Showin’ Off’; ‘Your Money, it’s Ugly’ is a nod to Afro-beat; while ‘Baby, Gone’ is a ‘60s French pisstake with the entire lyric sheet in the song’s title.

“I feel like I've been doing an apprenticeship in musicology for four years,” says Mackay of his DJ side-hustle. “DJing has given me decades worth of albums to make ... It gives me ideas every time I do it. I find it healthy in the way it feeds me.

“It’s fun going from cocktail hour at a fancy hotel where I’ll have Tito Puente or something like that happening. Then head out to do a proper dancefloor set. It’s forced me to consider all the different genres you can use depending on the scenario. I started doing these mixes called: dinner, drinks, dancing, and daybreak. I had that concept in my mind when I was making ‘Midnight Rainbow’. I think I even started writing a song about taking a bath as well. Next album...”

Water Sign marks the second Fascinator release under the Spinning Top Music umbrella (POND, Tame Impala, Nicholas Allbrook). The Perth-born label and artist management company welcomed Mackay into their family during that dark period when he began writing the album in New York.

And while Water Sign is a document of those strange times, it also represents Mackay’s heroic journey from “destitution to almost not quite destitution”, as he puts it in typical self-deprecating fashion. He’s now enjoying the creative freedom his adopted home city has afforded him.

“The one thing about New York is you can walk out the house dressed in garbage bags and around the corner there'll be someone dressed in transparent garbage bags. You can't run on being weird. Everyone's going to be like, ‘Big deal.’ I did a video once where I was dressed as a medieval knight on the subway. Nobody batted an eyelid.”

Matthew O'Neill

Matthew O'Neill is a musical artist living in Upstate New York. He was born in Ontario, and raised in Pennsylvania. Matthew spent much of his youth joyously alongside his father in the Eastern Woodlands. His music embodies an innate connection to the Earth and Indigenous Ways. Learning to embrace the inherent contradictions of those ways and contemporary life has been a defining aspect of his work. In bridging the gap between time honored ways and the modern world, he offers up fresh options and feelings that are vivid, wise, sexual, humorous, and celebratory.

He started out in high school writing and performing with his band Milkweed. The basement of his Mom's old stone house serving as rehearsal/performance space. The death of his father and a backpacking trip to the Southwest in his early teens changed his life forever and introduced him first hand to Indigenous culture.

At age 19, Matthew removed himself from mainstream culture and sought out the education of experience in the wilderness of the American West. He lived nomadically in National Forests and Native American Reservations, and fasted often. Baselining his soul with the powers of the Earth, he funneled the strength and awareness that was given into music and writing. He proceeded to have many adventures on the outskirts of American civilization, occasionally taking seasonal jobs on remote ranches and farms. For several years he self-released his own records, often from such uniquely remote locations.

Eventually he moved back East to the Catskill Mountains where he found himself at home. A few years later, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, gigged out and made a record in an off-the-grid shack above Topanga. Live shows in LA led to him meeting friend/producer Bill Fiorella. In the Spring of 2013, while living in Philly, he recorded 'Campfire Cook' via Fiorella's Lone Pine Records label (released March 2015). Campfire Cook was recorded in a mountain cabin studio in Wrightwood, CA over the course of 3 days of sonic conjuring. Daniel Lanois' hand me down vintage analog gear and a self regulating source of electricity were the technology employed to capture the proceedings. The album was completed completely analog and garnered good reviews.

Local artist Matthew O'Neill is a wilderness freak song warrior. His music embodies a connection to spirit, the Earth, and Indigenous Ways. Learning to embrace the inherent contradictions of those ways and contemporary life has been a defining aspect of his work. His latest release, Trophic Cascade, is a sophisticated double LP that was released via the Underwater Panther Coalition and wasco-produced with longtime friend 2x Grammy winner Diko Shoturma (Bjork, St. Vincent, David Crosby...). Some reviews are as follows:

"Matthew O’Neill follows his vision here...A potent mind-meld of early Pink Floyd space-rock, Jerry Garcia-esque laid-back roots music, and Native American-inspired earth-and-sky spirituality...a sort of mystic shaman sketching out his dreams and hopes for the earth he loves in the language he knows best: music.” ~ The Daily Vault

"Cosmic Americana meets interstellar yacht rock and soulful psychedelia…." Post To Wire

"...with so much creative musical diversity flowing through it, Trophic Cascade's appeal will undoubtedly last for many generations. ~ No Depression

O'Neill's live performances are explorative journeys, he will be joined at the Colony with fellow mountain maniacs Jeff Bailey (ex-Phosphorescent), Troy Newton, Matt Moorman, and Steve Boniello. Local artist Matthew O'Neill is a wilderness freak song warrior. His music embodies a connection to spirit, the Earth, and Indigenous Ways. Learning to embrace the inherent contradictions of those ways and contemporary life has been a defining aspect of his work. His latest release, Trophic Cascade, is a sophisticated double LP that was released via the Underwater Panther Coalition and wasco-produced with longtime friend 2x Grammy winner Diko Shoturma (Bjork, St. Vincent, David Crosby...). Some reviews are as follows:

"Matthew O’Neill follows his vision here...A potent mind-meld of early Pink Floyd space-rock, Jerry Garcia-esque laid-back roots music, and Native American-inspired earth-and-sky spirituality...a sort of mystic shaman sketching out his dreams and hopes for the earth he loves in the language he knows best: music.” ~ The Daily Vault

"Cosmic Americana meets interstellar yacht rock and soulful psychedelia…." Post To Wire

"...with so much creative musical diversity flowing through it, Trophic Cascade's appeal will undoubtedly last for many generations. ~ No Depression

O'Neill's live performances are explorative journeys, he will be joined at the Colony with fellow mountain maniacs Jeff Bailey (ex-Phosphorescent), Troy Newton, Matt Moorman, and Steve Boniello.

$12.00 - $15.00

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